A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally. More ...

Let data guide whether you open over Easter

Look at your sales last Easter before setting the newsagency staff roster for this Easter. If you can’t cover your costs, including real labour costs regardless of whether you do the hours yourself or not, don’t open.

Back in the day, newsagents would open out of obligation, as a community service, or because of supplier dictates, or both.

While it is nice to run your business as a community service, that does not pay your bills nor does it support you as you may need.

With penalty rates, a casual employee working on a public holiday is paid 250% of their base hourly rate. Based on the current General Retail Award Rate that would be $57.78 an hour – plus superannuation, taking the hourly cost to $64.14. This is for a Level 3, which would apply if they are opening or closing.

Opening because you think shoppers may expect you to open is not reason enough, nor is opening because you always have. The only reason to open is because it commercially viable.

Now, to newspaper and magazine publishers and staff reading this, you are part of the problem here. Your paltry margins are insufficient on a regular day let alone on a trading day attracting a 250% hike in the hourly cost of labour.

Newsagency management

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